D.C. Beer: Top 5 New Local Beers of 2012
It's been a big year for D.C. beer! From Bluejacket's preview batches to an anniversary ale and a seven-brewery collab, 2012 marked the official ascent of D.C.'s craft brewing scene. Here, a roundup of some of the year's most interesting and best.
Solidarity Saison: A year-end review of local beers wouldn’t be complete without this collaboration from seven local brewers. The traditional Belgian summer beer was the official drink of DC Beer Week 2012 and is perhaps the best symbol of D.C.’s burgeoning brewing scene (6.4% ABV).
Bluejacket Washington O.C.: This caramel-tinged quad is just a preview of what’s to come in 2013 from the forthcoming Capitol Riverfront brewery backed by Churchkey beer director Greg Engert and Megan Parisi. A collaboration with The Bruery in Orange County, California, the Belgian ale was conditioned with 450 pounds of pureed plums (10.5% ABV).
3 Stars Brewing Pandemic Porter: Another boozy brew, this American Imperial Porter was one of three inaugural beers unveiled with the brewery’s August open. Notes of coffee and chocolate make it a prime choice for dessert pairings (9.6% ABV).
Dogfish Head Birra Estrusca Bronze Ale: Award for most-researched brew of the year goes to this one from the Delaware brewery, which also has a tap house in Maryland. Founder Sam Calagione traveled to Italy in his quest to create a beer inspired by the Etruscans of ancient Italy, eventually creating this ale with an “Italian heirloom grain” and fermenting it with a bronze plate to simulate the containers likely used in 800 BC (8% ABV).
DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon: It wouldn’t be 2012 without an end-of-the-world themed beer, and this limited release from the Northeast DC brewery — made with an exclusive hop blend and marketed as “moderately carbonated, deceptively smooth, refreshingly dry and extremely heady” — fits the bill just fine (9.2% ABV).
Port City Brewing One: To celebrate its first year of operations, which included one fire and at least three invasions by woodland creatures, the Alexandria-based brewer created this Belgian Imperial Stout “mashup.” With notes of candy sugar, dates and tree nut, this “vigorously fermented” brew debuted in Feburary (9.5% ABV).